The Witches' God The Evolution of Wiccan Gods Through History Silver Chalice E-zine ~ Book Review
The Witches' God, by Janet and Stewart Farrar, is an excellent introduction to the basic Wiccan god-archetypes.
The Farrars' research is strong and lucid, and their perspective refreshingly free of proselytizing. Yet it manages to be an easy read. It kept me turning the pages, even though I wasn't planning to read the whole thing.
Although I different from the Farrars in my Wiccan practice and perspective, I consider The Witches' God to be an essential part of any Witch's library.
And here's why....
The Wiccan God Archetypes
The book is divided into 3 sections, plus an appendix.
Part 1 of The Witches' God explores the archetypal gods common to Wicca, and most other Pagan religions. For example,
The Sun God
The Vegetation / Green God
The Horned God
The Oak King & the Holly King
The Underworld God, etc.
Plus there are Recipes for the God, including incense, foods, and drink.
The Witches' God offers an intriguing journey through the evolution of the gods, in the context of the changing values of human history.
The Farrars demonstrate how the face of the divine to which we (as humans) relate, changes as the human community grows.
Part 2 of The Witches' God focuses on specific Gods you are very likely to find in Wiccan rituals, such as...
Each God here has his own chapter, and the Farrars include a ritual to each that a coven can perform.
I'm not sure how they chose certain Gods over others. Why Shiva and not Krishna, for instance? Why not Buddha or Adonis or Mercury? Interestingly, the Farrars overlook Mithra, a major Pagan deity who predated and strongly rivaled Christianity for centuries.
Even though The Witches' God overlooks some of the more commonly seen Wiccan gods, the ones shown here are well-developed and useful.
Gods of the World... from AAH to ZU
Part 3 is perhaps the best part, and worth the price of the book all on its own. In 100 pages, The Witches' God introduces Gods from around the world and throughout time.
By my estimate, there are close to 2000 gods in this deity directory, with brief outlines of each.
It won't give you everything you need to know about all of the gods -- that kind of book would be an encyclopedia. But it gives a basic introduction, so you'll know who you'll want to research.
A Circle-Casting Ritual
The appendix of the book leads you through a sample of casting and banishing a Circle.
For those who are interested in a Gardnerian approach to Wicca, the given rituals and instructions will be appreciated.
Other Wiccans will value this book as an encyclopedic introduction to the Wiccan Gods.
Excerpts from The Witches' God
In the pagan cosmic view, the supreme creative polarity is that of the Goddess and God principles, for without polarity, from divinity downwards, there can be no manifestation.
These are the two complementary terminals of the cosmic battery at all levels; without their creative difference, no current flows.
…The main flaw in patriarchal thinking [is that] for Polarity it has substituted Dualism; for the creative complementarity of God and Goddess it has substituted the confrontation of God and Devil, of Good and Evil.
Even the God has suffered [under patriarchal domination], for without his complement he is emasculated, his image distorted and impoverished.
In the end we are all tuning into the same source. Magical or religious practice is a communion with the reality which lies behind such god-forms, which are tuning signals to aspects of that reality.
The Horned God was a vivid expression of the son/lover of Mother Earth -- swift-moving, wide-roaming, concupiscent, respectfully killed to feed her other creatures and yet eternally reappearing as strong and splendid as ever.
Agriculture and social complexity did not push him aside, because mankind knew instinctively that, without the raw force of Nature underlying them, crops and community alike would wither and die.
This instinctive attitude to horns as a symbol survived, for example, among the ancient Hebrews. Few people realize, till it is pointed out to them, that throughout the Old Testament horns are a symbol of God-given power.
Next Article in the Silver Chalice E-zine: Sabbat Article
If you enjoyed this article, please Stumble it! It only takes a second to share the good stuff with other seekers.
If You Liked The Witches' God Book Review, You May Also Enjoy These Book Reviews . . ..
New Book Reviews are published in every issue of The Silver Chalice E-Zine. Please subscribe to receive reviews and exclusive articles.
A New Earth, by Eckhart Tolle "A New Earth" -- how could this not be an excellent book for Wiccans? Aren't we all dreaming of and working for the day when the Earth is reborn? When humanity sees the Earth -- and each other -- with new eyes, with love and respect? While Tolle doesn't elaborate on this New Earth, he effectively illustrates how to get there... A New Earth Buy It Now
The Spiral Dance, by Starhawk Starhawk's classic Wiccan text, The Spiral Dance, is probably the best introduction to Wicca spiritual practice you can get on paper. It's a book for the conscious, adult Wiccan... someone who wants to develop the real Craft of being a Witch. There is a ... Buy It Now
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham This book has been the classic introduction to Wicca for a whole generation of solitary Witches. Cunningham's unadorned style and clear instructions on the very basics of the Witchcraft are as useful today as when the book was written. Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner offers simple rituals that a novice will have no difficulty following. It also includes an Author's Book of Shadows, to get you started.... Buy It Now
Loving the Goddess Within: Sex Magick For Women, by Nan HawthorneLoving the Goddess Within: Sex Magick For Women reveals the sensual aspect of spiritual worship. "Love and sex are essential parts of magick...re-enactments of the Goddess's initiating and sustaining energy." The premise of Hawthorne's book is that sexuality and the passionate interplay of energies is integral to Wicca . . . Buy It Now